OVAL BLEEDS GREEN
18th of June 2017, the stage was set on the bright sunny morning with a clear blue sky almost perfect to host the mother of all clashes between Pakistan vs India. However this time around the clash was a little different, the usual hostility was replaced with a little gentility. Amir Sohail in his typical bitter fashion trashed Pakistan’s captain and made the team’s success a little controversial, on the contrary Sourav and Harbhajan defended PCT and labeled the remarks to be absolute rubbish and irresponsible. Pakistani’s praised Virat Kohli for his respectable and humble post match press conference where he admired the class of these young guns from Pakistan. People from both sides of the border witnessed Sarfraz’s son in Dhoni’s lap. Pakistani’s were just glad to be in the finals let alone thinking about winning it. Things were calm until veteran actor Rishi Kapoor and former Indian opener Virender Sehwag got to the social media to spit some venom.
At the toss Indian captain opted to bowl first, the choice was made considering a strong Indian batting that is normally regarded as the best chasing side. Kohli was confident that his young talented bowing unit is quite capable of restricting a feeble Pakistani battling line under 250 or less. Who would have imagined that a dashing Fakhar Zaman had some other ideas. He batted like a champion and posted 114 off 106 deliveries. He demonstrated a sight of power, calmness and flexibility. In an hour or so Fakhar gave Pakistan a dream start. Spectators from Delhi to Kolkata were asking why Virat opted to field first. Will the Indian side be able to chase the posted total? What could be the par score on this track? Is India good enough to still win it?
After Zaman had laid the platform in came Babar, who was followed by the professor Hafeez, he batted with freedom, flare and aggression. He played some electrifying strokes. With Imad he added some valuable runs and posted a tally of 338. Woo! Indian bowling had surely taken some real beating.
Mohammad Amir, the forgiven son of the soil who had bowled exceedingly well in English conditions last summer, made the ball talk, saw dropped catches, wickets column did not shake much, gave his all on the field but glory had to wait.
Amir streams in, first ball to Rohit, inside edge on to pads and he survives, next ball he drags the white cherry away. Third ball nipped back in and Rohit was trapped in front. Sea of green erupts! However the ultimate redemption for Amir came when he took the megastar, Captain Kohli and if you are a Pakistani fan you could have known the game was over there and then. Amir had bowled a spell of his life. The noise was unforgettable, energy unmatched and the overwhelming joy became the fate of millions watching in Pakistan.
Indian innings crumbled for mere 158, Dil Dil Pakistan was on and it was time to celebrate, Pakistan had won a memorable victory over her fiercest rival. There were fireworks and Bhangra’s in the streets, sweets distributed and the champions trophy had been won. It took a long time coming but the wait surely was worth it.